Whether for cooking or entertaining, kitchens serve an important role in today’s households. To see what cabinets, counters, appliances, and overall trends homeowners are looking for right now, BUILDER staff sat in on Metrostudy and Meyers Research’s Consumer Insight Series on kitchen and bath trends. In the hour-long webinar, Mollie Carmichael, consumer segmentation expert and principal at Meyers Research, gave industry professionals valuable insight into what is shaping kitchen design now and in the future.
1. Bring in the light: Instead of adding upper cabinetry, owners are seeking windows, and complementing open shelving, that allow natural light to flow into the space, provide a little outdoor engagement, and make the entire space feel bigger.
2. White remains on top: Although white still reigns supreme in cabinet colors, owners want to tone down the all-white trend. People are looking for high contrast with pops of black or other flashy colors or adding natural wood tones to warm up the space.
3. Flat paneled cabinets will grow: Recessed and raised panel cabinets are the current favorites for cabinet faces, but Carmichael predicts that flat panels will grow more popular as modern, minimalist trends continue to rise.
4. Granite tops quartz: Several folks were surprised by this statistic, considering quartz's recent rise to fame. According to Carmichael, 48% of consumers want granite counters and 35% are interested in quartz. She predicts the natural stone element, compared to quartz’s manufactured component, is the reason granite is still liked more.
5. Add some “jewelry”: With the resurgence of brass and mixing metals, many homeowners are looking to add glam to their kitchens. Carmichael referenced several appliance manufacturers adding mixed-metal knobs and pulls to their ovens and refrigerators, saying everyone needs some “jewelry in the kitchen.”
6. Serving stations rise over butler’s pantries: The serving station or smart bar is having a big moment, likely due to owners entertaining more. These areas, usually built adjacent to the main kitchen area, are essentially where owners keep their barware, wine fridge, wine storage, and other bar-related accessories. Owners can also use this space to house smart technologies like speakers, voice assistants, and chargers.
7. Storage is key: Eighty percent of homeowners are interested in function in their kitchens, but would love the ability to hide on-counter appliances, utensils, and cooking supplies in cabinets or pantries. Several cabinet manufacturers have responded to the trend by creating custom-like options, like tall pull-outs for each side of the fridge, while designers continue to put emphasis on adding walk-in pantries.
8. It’s all about transitional: According to the data collected by Metrostudy, 38% of homeowners look for “somewhat traditional” interior design and 40% look for “somewhat modern.” Transitional design marries the two and offers a mix of design elements from both styles, which homeowners seem to enjoy.
9. Technology invades: From smart ovens that can be controlled by phone to hubs that can teach homeowners how to step-by-step cook, there has been significant advances in kitchen technology recently. Homeowners may be reluctant to add these types of appliances right now, but Carmichael says that may change going forward.